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June Newsletter
We have been experiencing a lot of June gloom in our weather lately. Soon it will be getting hot so it is time to get ready for outdoor living in our pleasant evenings and getting our swimming pools and landscaping ready for summer enjoyment. This month our  focus with our Gardening tips is on common pest and horticultural problems that most of us experience on some common plants.
 
In the Spirit of Constant Improvement we are also placing a link in the newsletter so that you can print a copy of the gardening tips in Spanish as well.
 
Water is getting scarce but we can enjoy our landscapes and use far less water. Our water wise tips will help you understand what can be done to save this valuable resource.

Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)

La Cañada Flintridge Project

This project was built for two of our favorite clients, Brad & Mary Cornell, whom we have done several projects for.  It was designed by Richard Riedel and the design/build was managed with daily visits during construction by Mark Meahl. This unusual fountain was designed to use features of the very unique Art Deco home. The pillars and circular columns are used extensively in the front of the house and are repeated on the water feature. Fiber optics are used to create the rail of light and to uplight the water as it spills off each of its individually formed ledges.  The water starts from the top and flows under the driveway. Plants used are Callistemon 'Little John,' Coral Bells, and Calliandra.

June Gardening Tips

BOUGAINVILLEA 'RASBERRY ICE' (left) Don't Prune:
This small more compact form of Bougainvillea grows as a shrub and can be kept contained. Pruning should be kept at a minimum to preserve blooms. If your Bougainvillea (all varieties) is not blooming and it is not because you cut the flowers off you are probably overwatering it. This plant blooms best with minimal water. Also, Bougainvilleas stop growing so fast when you cut back the water.

PRUNING AZALEAS:
Pruning Azaleas should be undertaken immediately after they finish blooming (usually June or July). Major pruning of Azaleas later than that risks interfering with the development of next year's buds. Begin by pruning off dead or injured branches, which could cause disease and insect problems in the future. Then prune back tall, gangly limbs shooting out of the top of the bush. This will promote a more attractive, compact shape.

FICUS NITIDA/RETUSA HEDGES (right):
This is one of the favorite hedges in Southern California. It grows fast and dense, it needs to be pruned often and planted where roots are not going to be a problem or planted with root guards installed.

It is not unusual to find the leaves of your Ficus hedge curling up as shown to the left. Your plant probably has Thrip. When the leaf pod is opened very tiny white bugs and slightly larger black bugs- still very small become visible. It appears that this does not seem to damage or slow the plants growth down much but it is not aesthetically pleasing. Garden View Maintenance crews spray with Orthene™ or Malathion™ which eliminates the pest. Often we have to spray a couple times a year.

AUSTRALIAN BRUSH CHERRY:
Eugenia myrtifolia (Syzygium paniculatum) is a very popular hedge and tree in Southern California. It is often plagued with psyllids. Infested plants often are not very attractive and leaves that have been infested and have been controlled will continue to have scars from the infestation (right).

To combat the pest, researchers looked for its natural enemies in Australia. They found a tiny parasitic wasp, genus Tamarixia, that is stingless and smaller than a pinhead. The wasp was evaluated in a quarantined facility and then released at Disneyland in Anaheim in July 1992, and at the San Diego Zoo in 1993.

Most native species of psyllids require no management; even when populations are abundant, plants can tolerate substantial feeding and psyllid populations will decline naturally.

In locations that are visible Garden View Maintenance crews will control the insect populations by pruning often to remove scared leaves. Spraying Orthene™ or Malathion™ will eliminate the pests but will probably discourage natural enemies though this is often necessary where the plant is very visible.

CITRUS LEAF MINER:
As citrus trees produce new flush growth, citrus leaf miners may become a severe problem (left). Citrus leaf miners are primarily a concern in young trees, but older trees that lose significant amount of foliage must be protected also.

Natural control is not available. Care needs to be taken with chemical controls because plants have edible fruit. Garden View Maintenance crews spray with a product called Conserve™. The active ingredient in Spinosad is derived from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium that has been formulated into insecticides provides the benefits of a biological pest control organism that does not significantly affect beneficial organisms including ladybugs, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs, and predatory mites.

Esteban Casimiro (Garden View Maintenance Supervisor) adds that if you cut off the infected leafs and then spray the treatment is much more effective.

PHOTINIA (right):
has finished blooming and its new flush red leaves are now no longer new and flush. It is a good time to prune this shrub to keep it compact.

CHLOROSIS ON GARDENIAS, AZALEAS, AND MANY SHRUBS (left):
This is probably the most common and important problem on gardenia. Leaves appear yellow or chlorotic and have green veins. Growth may occasionally be retarded and highly symptomatic leaves may drop. In most cases, the condition is associated with the unavailability or deficiency of iron in the potting mix.

Chlorosis can be avoided by using a fairly light, slightly acid potting mix. Applications of iron chelates in water may help to increase the availability of iron and cause the leaves to "green-up" within a few weeks after the application. Chlorosis in plants simply means that the plant doesn't have enough chlorophyll. This can be caused by poor drainage, root problems, pH too high, or not enough nutrients from the soil, or a combination of all of these.

Though Gardenias and Azaleas need sufficient water, overwatering will contribute to Chlorosis. Garden View crews will first fertilize the plants with a fertilizer that contains Iron. Esteban suggests poking holes about 4" deep and putting the fertilizer in the holes. If that doesn't solve the problem more chelated iron will be applied. As a last resort the crews will often suggest replanting the plant in a peat moss based soil mix.

Click Here to read the rest of the article!

Click Here to see/print the article in Spanish! 
Water-Wise Tips
Protect our resources and your water bill

The amount of water that most people in Southern California waste in incorrectly watering their lawns and  landscapes is immense. We water too often, not deep enough (sometime too deep), and inefficiently. This subject can not be covered adequately in a short article so we will cover it with many. The placement of the right type of sprinklers is important to get Irrigation Uniformity (see prior article on DU...). There are many efficient sprinklers on the market and many old types that are very inefficient.

Old Brass pop up heads (right) are not efficient; they spout out large amounts of water just to pop up and distribute the water inefficiently, they don't pop up high enough to clear most types of grass and often get stuck up and mowed off.

Old style impact heads (left) are also inefficient because they shoot out bulk water and distribute it by impacting the stream of water and knocking it down.  The water goes everywhere, there is also a lot of mist and evaporation. These sprinklers are not easily fitted  to compensate for different configurations.  The same sprinkler head set to water a quarter circle will put out the same water in ¼ of the area as a full head will put out in an area 4 times as big. Thus, the area with the quarter circle will get 4 times the amount of water as the area with the full head.

In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl

Julie Meahl June is the month to 'make room for daddy.'  Dads are so important in our lives so let's put everything aside and make him feel special.  I always suggest the gift that keeps giving.  If your dad enjoys music and is a Beatle fan, Garden View Nursery has the "McCartney Rose."  Offered as a birthday gift by his record company to sir Paul.  This hybrid tea rose has large deep rosy pink buds and matures to massive blooms.  The fragrance is a strong spice.
 
If your dad is a baseball fan, Garden View Nursery has the "Home Run"-a showy flame red rose shrub.  Rounded, bushy, fast to flower, and it's nearly always in color.  It hits a grand slam in the landscape and scores lots of points in a pot.
 
Every ESPN sports enthusiast needs the "Manly Man Guacamole" and chips:
            -2 Ripe Avocados
            -½ Cups minced red onion
            -1 or 2 Minced Serrano chilies, stems and seeds removed
            -2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
            -1 Teaspoon garlic salt
            -½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
Be sure to get the freshest avocados off your tree from Garden View Nursery.  We have great Hass and Fuerte avocado trees.  For the smaller yard we also have them in dwarf varieties.
 
If you just cannot make up your mind, we also have grafted citrus cocktail all-in-one trees.  They have Mandarin Oranges, Tangelos, Bearss Limes, Valencia Oranges, and Washington Navel Oranges all on one tree!  We also carry the grafted 4-in-1 apple tree, which bears Anna, Dorset Golden, Red Fuji, and Gordon apples-a great source of fiber for dad.
Yes, "seeing is believing."  Come to Garden View Nursery and see for yourself these unique grafted trees.
Tip: All roses and fruit trees like full sun and good drainage.  Roses are acidic so plant them with some peat moss and planting mix.  Fruit trees use 50% compost when planting.
These are the gifts that keep giving.  Enjoy your day with dad.
 
Now you're in the dirt!

(Julie Meahl is the Retail Manager and Vice President of Garden View, Inc.)

Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog
Blake Seeing as I just got myself a brand new pooch and don't feel like doing much else but hang out with him or think about his excrement I figured I might as well write this posting about dog piss; the infamous enemy of a healthy patch free lawn.  As a landscape professional and a tremendous nerd I will be trying to train my buddy to keep off the grass (when peeing) but it is unlikely that you or your neighbors are as calculated about it.  The reason dog urine and feces kill lawns is because of its high concentration of ammonia and nitrogen.  Have you ever noticed that underneath the poo the grass is nuked but around it there is extra green and lush foliage?  That's because nitrogen is actually beneficial to your lawn and is one of three primary ingredients in most fertilizers.  However, too much nitrogen will cause the grass to burn just like an overdose of fertilizer.

Whether it is your dog or not, you are in one of three positions in an attempt to preserve your grass; preventative, immediate and too late.

Preventative:  If it is not your dog (or mine) that is peeing on your lawn I would suggest any combination of a sling shot, bb-gun, super soaker, garden hose or a good old fashioned slap in the face for the owner of the pooch who even looks like they are going to let their dog defecate your home.  Be sure to shoot at the owner and not the dog; he is the @$$hole who would rather have that piss on your lawn than his own.  Just stand post in a rocking chair on the porch with your artillery of choice and people in the neighborhood will probably get the idea pretty quick that you aint screwin' around.  Unfortunately, this is probably not an option (not because you have a conscience but because you have a job) so you will probably have to do something like tape off your lawn or put up threatening signs.

There are products on the market in the form of treats and food supplements that can neutralize the ammonia and nitrogen in your dog's urine.  Most of these products are essentially Brewer's Yeast which you can add a teaspoon of to each of your dog's meals to do pretty much the same thing.  Brewer's yeast is typically an ingredient of dog food but just not enough to serve this purpose.

Immediate:  If you catch your dog or one of those bastards in the neighborhood in the act wash it down.  Diluting the concentration of those pollutants will go a long way in preventing the damage from occurring.  Also, sprinkle some lime or powdered gypsum in the area.  The alkalinity will help to neutralize the acidity present in the excrement.

Too late!  You ran out of buck shot, and didn't notice there has been foul play until you saw big brown spots in your lawn; what the heck are you gonna do?  Well, the water, lime and gypsum will still be effective in helping the affected soil recover more quickly but it will not be a cure all.  If you are able to keep repeat offenders away the grass will fill back in with time.  Our crews bring out some seed for the dead patches to help speed up the recovery.  But keep in mind the seed will need daily watering.

Good luck!

(Blake Meahl is the Operations Manager for Garden View's Maintenance Division.)

If you have any suggestions on articles you would like to see in our newsletter or suggestions for improvement please let us know.
-Tyler Meahl (Technical Manager and Special Projects Coordinator for Garden View Inc.)
 
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